Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Spine Case 5 ED Management

L5 Spondylolysis


ED Management

Initial treatment for spondylolysis (without spondylolisthesis) is nonsurgical. The individual should take a break from the activities until symptoms go away. NSAIDS may help reduce back pain. Patients should be referred to a spine specialist. Occasionally, a back brace and physical therapy may be recommended. In most cases, activities can be resumed gradually and there will be few complications or recurrences. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the back and abdominal muscles can help prevent future recurrences of pain. Surgery may be needed for refractory pain or progressive slippage.